For three centuries, the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame administered the estate and took part in the life of their community while working the land. They maintained the house, operated a school for children and taught the art of “keeping house” to young girls in Montréal. Large crops, garden crops and raising livestock... about a dozen employees worked at the farm.
House for the King’s Wards
At Maison Saint-Gabriel, purchased in 1668, along the shores of the majestic St. Lawrence River, close to the Pointe-à-Callière fort, Marguerite Bourgeoys welcomed the King’s Wards.
The 30-arpent farm became their home for a while until they had time to adapt to the rigours of the country, learn how to get by in the difficult world of the colony... and find a husband.
An animated and living museum
Through its programme, the museum revives the artisanal customs and traditions of the period from the 17th to the 19th century.
Every Sunday during the summer, craftspeople specializing in traditional crafts come to demonstrate their know-how. Events recreate important facts of history with activities and period costumes. Historical skits performed by the Théâtre Catherine-Crolo evoke daily life on the farm during the time of the King’s Wards.
In the fall, stories and traditions make a good mix with the Beggars’ Week, Memories from Beyond the Grave, the Evening of lies and the St. Catherine’s day festivities.
History has never been so alive!